kind of a blackhawk down type war movie. this one takes place in afghanistan and is directed by peter berg. it has the berg touch – colors, camerawork, and music are all in his signature style. i can’t say i’m a huge fan of his style, though it did work well for the friday night lights tv series.
there is definitely elements of strong patriotism and putting the military on a pedestal. they’re tougher than everyone else, they sacrifice so much, the usual stuff. these are basically true statements, but i can’t help but think about the fact that by revering them so much we encourage them to march to their deaths for dumb wars like the one in afghanistan. so, we praise them (which is a good thing), but it just encourages them to go to war and die (which is a bad thing). this concept is explored more in the americanization of emily.
as much as berg comes off as a red state guy in his subjects (football and war), he has a blue state heart, if you will. the lone survivor in this mission is mark wahlberg who is ultimately saved by a local afghani tribesman who is following the ancient afghani law of providing asylum for people against their enemies. the film cites it as pashtunwali, but the more specific custom is actually nanawatai. in this case nanawatai worked out quite well for america (or at least this one american soldier) because the tribe protected him against the taliban. in another case, though, it didn’t work out so well because they protected osama bin laden from us.
double edged sword, i suppose. good enough movie.